As the countdown clock ticks closer and closer to the big night, get yourself ready for the festivities with our handy A-Z guide of everything and everyone you need to be aware of heading before your hand in your office ballot. And if something we said helps you win, don’t forget about us when it comes time to collect those winnings!
A: Amy Adams
Amy Adams‘ Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work as Lynne Cheney, the cutthroat wife to former Vice President Dick Cheney, in Vice has earned the actress her sixth career Oscar nomination. Could this finally be the year she walks away a winner? She faces some steep competition from The Favourite‘s Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, not to mention If Beale Street Could Talk‘s Regina King.
B: Bradley Cooper
Not only is Bradley Cooper nominated for Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on A Star Is Born—though, in one of the year’s most notable snubs, not for Best Director—he’ll also be taking the stage with his co-star and muse Lady Gaga to perform the Best Original Song nominee “Shallow” live for the first time on national television.
C: Christian Bale
For completely disappearing into the role of Dick Cheney in Vice, Christian Bale finds himself in the running for Best Actor. And he just might walk away with what would be his second Oscar, too. If only he can keep Rami Malek at bay.
D: Danai Gurira
As a part of the history-making Best Picture nominated Black Panther‘s cast, soon-to-be former Walking Dead star Danai Gurira will take the stage at the Dolby Theater to present. And, just maybe, to stand behind director Ryan Coogler as he potentially accepts the night’s biggest honor.
20th Century Fox
E: Emma Stone
Could Emma Stone earn her second Oscar this year? The actress, who won Best Actress for La La Land in 2017, is nominated this year for Best Supporting Actress for her knockout work in The Favourite.
20th Century Fox
F: Favourite, The
Yorgos Lanthimos‘ pitch-black comedy, set in Queen Anne’s court in early 18th century England, has become something of a—wait for it—favorite this award season, earning ten nominations at this year’s ceremony, including one for Best Picture. It stands tied with Roma for most nominations.
Sony Pictures Classics
G: Glenn Close
Glenn Close has been nominated for six other Academy Awards over the course of her illustrious career. And she’s never won a single one of them. Could her Best Actress-nominated work in The Wife finally make this lucky number seven? It’s looking like it.
H: Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren isn’t nominated for anything this year. In fact, her last nomination came exactly a decade ago. But that hasn’t stopped 2006’s Best Actress winner from scoring invite after invite to Hollywood’s biggest night. She’ll be on stage as a presenter this year.
I: Incredibles 2
Pixar’s decision to revisit the most super family in their filmography paid dividends, with Incredibles 2 setting the record for best debut for an animated film while grossing over $1.2 billion worldwide. Naturally, it finds itself nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at this year’s ceremony.
J: John Mulaney
The dapper stand-up comedian, who turned in voice work as Peter Porker (aka Spider-Ham) in the Best Animated Feature Film-nominated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, will be on hand this year as a presenter.
K: KiKi Layne
The breakout female lead of Barry Jenkins‘ Moonlight follow-up If Beale Street Could Talk didn’t earn any nominations for her work as Tish, but she will be on hand during the night’s festivities as a presenter.
L: Lady Gaga
While it’s looking less and less likely that Lady Gaga will leave the 91st Academy Awards as this year’s Best Actress winner, it’s no doubt an honor just to have been nominated. Winning the Oscar for Best Original Song, which seems like a foregone conclusion at this point, should help to soften the blow.
Fox Searchlight Pictures
M: Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy‘s work as Lee Israel in the biographical drama Can You Ever Forgive Me? earned her some of the best reviews of her career. it also earned her her second Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actress. (She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 2012 for her star-making turn in Bridesmaids.)
N: No Host
After The Rock said no and Kevin Hart refused to apologize for old homophobic tweets, the Academy decided that, for the first time in 30 years, the show will go on without a host. Will that help to keep things from running over their allotted three-hour time slot? Stay tuned…
20th Century Fox
O: Olivia Colman
While the Best Actress race initially seemed like a two-horse race between Glenn Close and Lady Gaga when nominations were announced, British actress Olivia Colman has emerged as a serious challenger thanks to Golden Globe and BAFTA Award wins for her stunning work as Queen Anne in The Favourite. Could she best Close?
P: Pawel Pawlikowski
Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski‘s black-and-white drama Cold War made history with its three Academy Award nominations, the most for a primarily Polish-backed production. His inclusion in the field of Best Director nominees came as a shock—and has been perceived as, perhaps, the name that knocked Bradley Cooper out of the running.
It’s been a big year for Queen. Not only did their biopic Bohemian Rhapsody break into award season in a big way, earning Best Picture and Best Actor nominations, but remaining members Roger Taylor and Bryan May will open the show on Sunday with frontman Adam Lambert filling in for the late Freddie Mercury as he has over the past few years.
20th Century Fox
R: Rami Malek
While Adam Lambert will be performing the Freddie Mercury role when Queen takes the stage on Sunday, it’s Rami Malek‘s work as the late singer that has the actor poised to take home the Best Actor trophy when all is said and done.
David Lee / Focus Features
S: Spike Lee
Can you believe that over the course of his 33-year career, Spike Lee hadn’t been nominated for Best Director until this year? In fact, the three nominations BlackKklansman earned him this year are only his third, fourth and fifth ever. Could he possibly beat out Roma‘s Alfonso Cuaron?
T: Tina Fey & Amy Poehler
Everyone’s favorite awards season duo and threepeat Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be in the house on Sunday as presenters, ensuring that there will be, at least, one entertaining moments during the telecast. Too late to beg them to host?
U: Unpopular Decisions
Boy, did it seem like every step the Academy took in the build up to this year’s ceremony there was another one of these, huh? First, there was the floated notion of a “popular Oscar,” one that would’ve been awarded based on box office returns or audience voting, which was roundly dismissed by critics as a mere ratings grab that diminished what the Oscars truly meant and was summarily dropped. Then there was the idea that four of the more technical categories would be awarded during commercial breaks and edited into a package placed later in the telecast. Membership revolt forced the Academy to rethink that one, too. Then there was the suggestion that only the most popular Best Original Song nominees perform during the show, an idea that Lady Gaga herself forced off the table when she threatened to walk. And lastly, there was the strongarm maneuvering producers reportedly took when attempting to prevent presenters from also presenting at the SAG Awards, a move that drove SAG-AFTRA to publicly blast “the Academy’s graceless pressure tactics.”
Adam McKay‘s pitch-black comedic biopic telling the story of former Vice President Dick Cheney‘s path to becoming the country’s most powerful veep ever earned eight nominations at this year’s ceremony, including Best Picture and Best Director for McKay, his second career nomination in the category. (He was previously nominated for The Big Short in 2016.)
W: Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe‘s work as Vincent van Gogh in the arthouse film At Eternity’s Gate has earned the veteran actor his first ever Best Actor nominations. He’s previously been three times in the Best Supporting Actor category, as recently as last year for The Florida Project.
X: eXtravagent Fashion
Look, you try finding a perfect match for every letter in the alphabet. It’s harder than it looks! At any rate, prepare yourself for some truly eye-popping ensembles on the red carpet on Sunday. And is it too much to hope that someone has the guts to try and pull off anything as out there as Björk‘s swan dress? Let’s give ’em something to talk about, ladies!
Y: Yalitza Aparicio
Taking home Best Actress would certainly be the happiest ending for the fairy tale year that Roma star Yalitza Aparicio has had. She went from aspiring school teacher in Mexico to history-making Oscar-nominated actress in record time.
Z: Zal, Lukasz
Polish filmmaker Lukasz Zal earned his first Oscar nomination in the Best Cinematography category for his work on the history-making Cold War.